AT&T is dropping the price of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch by $100 when bundled with a qualifying phone purchase. The watch is now $199 with a Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 Active and/or Galaxy Mega handset. AT&T is also letting customers “complete” the bundle if they already purchased one of these phones but didn’t add a Galaxy Gear at time of purchase. At AT&T-owned retail stores, a salesperson can verify the prior phone purchase and you can walk out with a Galaxy Gear smartwatch for $199.
The company is reportedly planning a pair of Chromebooks although no details are yet available. If any company takes a chance on a Chrome OS tablet or 2-in-1 hybrid, Asus is a good bet thanks to its Transformer line of notebooks. Read more »
One retailer appears to be jumping the gun on the Normandy, showing a Nokia X handset price very near that of Nokia’s Asha 503. If accurate, this further supports the strategy of getting Microsoft services on low-end devices in emerging markets. Read more »
Amidst documents showing alleged Google licensing terms for its own Android apps, many seem confused about what is or isn’t open when it comes to Android. It’s really not that complicated, nor is it radically different from what some competitors do. Read more »
Fans of BlackBerry Messenger have a new software update to try: One that adds free voice over IP calls to iPhone and Android. BBM also gains integration with Dropbox’s cloud storage and with Glympse for location sharing. Read more »
You’ll be battling for bandwidth with another 6.18 billion connected devices in 2014 according to research firm IHS. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg: IHS expects another 19.42 billion devices will crave a connection between 2015 and 2017. Phones, tablets and computers will make up a large bulk of the total, but video game consoles and television sets are a growing segment, which will require faster broadband, fewer data caps and advanced in-home networks. Perhaps the estimate of 50 billion connected devices in 2020 by Ericsson’s Hans Vestberg is too low?
Aviate already surfaces relevant apps at the right place and time but now it can do the same for music. When plugging in your headphones, Aviate will show music apps plus a bio of the artist you’re currently listening to. Read more »
Verizon Wireless may be cutting prices and increasing the amount of mobile broadband data in some of its plans. The company tweeted a teaser on Wednesday in what’s likely a response to AT&T’s recent plan price changes. Still, you can thank T-Mobile if this happens. Read more »
With the same internals and features as its predecessor, the bigger question about Pebble Steel is exactly that: How big is it? Here’s a visual comparison of the Steel next to the Galaxy Gear, MotoACTV and mechanical watches I often wear. Read more »
An updated KitKat version of Android is now rolling out to Moto X handsets on T-Mobile’s network. According to the release notes, Moto X phones get Android 4.4.2 along with some small fixes specific to the device. Also included are improved printing capabilities over Wi-Fi networks for photos and Google Docs. Although Lenovo recently purchased Motorola from Google for $2.91 billion, my hope is that the new parent company learns a lesson from Motorola on how to expedite Android software updates to customers as it has become a key differentiation point for the Moto X and Moto G phones.
As Microsoft gets closer to releasing Windows Phone 8.1 it’s sharing information with app developers. The newest software shows more unification across the company’s desktop and mobile platforms and improved ways to navigate on a Windows Phone. Read more »
Did you delete Flappy Birds too soon? You can get it back right in your Chrome browser for agonizing fun at any time. On this week’s podcast we also review the latest new features in Chrome OS and review pricing details for the Chromebase. Read more »
There’s little surprise left to the upcoming Galaxy S5 smartphone although there’s been a question about the screen resolution. Based on a purported image of the phone’s box, it will likely be an eye-popping 2560 x 1440 screen. Read more »
You don’t see too many iPhone cases made with metal because they can interfere with reception. Not so with Kloque, a smart-looking iPhone case created with aluminum and a patent-pending way to maintain phone reception. Read more »
The first price for LG’s Chromebase is out: Folks in Australia will pay $599 for the all-in-one Chrome OS desktop computer. After comparing Chromebook pricing between Australia and the U.S., it’s reasonable to think we’ll see a price under $500. Read more »
On a future airplane trip, take a peek into the flight deck and you might see the pilot using a Surface 2 tablet: The Federal Aviation Administration approved Microsoft’s slate for Class 1 or 2 Electronic Flight Bags this week. The approval is a meaningful step as Delta announced in September of last year that 11,000 of its pilots would start using Surface 2 tablets by then end of 2014. Surface 2 isn’t the only tablet in the sky though; airlines started using Apple iPads in early 2011 in the cockpit to replace paper charts, manuals and other flight documentation.
Update: this post was updated at 9am PT as it incorrectly said no airlines were currently using Surface 2 tablets yet.
Two major wireless charging groups, the Alliance for Wireless Power and the Power Matters Alliance, are banding together with their standards, which will make life easier for consumers who want to charge a tablet or smartphone without wires. Read more »
Google’s Nexus 7 debuted last July with a Wi-Fi model, followed by an LTE version. It’s only now that Verizon is selling the device as it took six months to certify the tablet for the carrier’s LTE network. Read more »
Just four years in and already some are saying the tablet market has peaked. It’s easy to draw that conclusion if you look at slowing and seasonal sales numbers but there are several reasons it’s too soon to dismiss the potential of tablets. Read more »
Want to relive the historic performance of The Beatles on February 9, 1964? Fire up your Apple TV or iTunes to see the full 14 minute television spot as it aired all those years ago. Read more »
Asus has entered the small Windows tablet market with the Asus VivoTab Note 8 appearing in the Microsoft Store. The slate costs $30 more than similar devices but offers an advanced stylus with pressure sensitivity. Read more »
Don’t look at Google’s Chromecast as a $35 piece of hardware. With the new SDK, Chromecast isn’t just a media extender; it’s a platform that developers can use for second screen apps. On this week’s podcast we discuss the possibilities. Read more »
After a long wait, we not only have the Chromecast SDK and new apps that use it, but also a new Chromebox coming soon from Asus for $179. Pinch-to-zoom also arrives in Chrome for Windows. Read more »
Look on the Google Play store and you’ll see the Nexus 5 smartphone now available in a new Bright Red color. The new choice launched Tuesday after weeks of leaked information on the red phone, which is no different on the inside than its Black or White counterparts. Pricing is the same as well: $349 for a 16 GB model or $399 for a 32 GB version. The handset comes unlocked and runs the latest version of Android, plus it typically is one of the first phones to receive software updates. Google says the Bright Red model is in stock and shipping in one to two days.
Looking for a way to make your smartphone even smarter? Try the free EverythingMe launcher for Android, which uses your location and time of day to intelligently learn which apps you’re mostly like to use in a given place or time. Read more »
With a new CEO will Microsoft become a bigger mobile player? Based Satya Nadella’s first memo to employees, it looks like he’ll bring new ideas, saying the company needs to rethink how things are done in the mobile space. Read more »
After losing Chromecast support last August, AllCast is back thanks to the new Chromecast SDK. With it, you can stream local photos, videos and music from an Android device to your Chromecast over Wi-Fi. Read more »
Samsung hasn’t announced pricing and availability of the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 tablet but a retail partner did. Look for the slate on Feb. 13 for $849.99. Sound high? Yes, but Samsung is pitching this as a productivity powerhouse. Read more »
Samsung hasn’t been a big supporter of Windows Phone, with just a handset here and there. More evidence of a higher end device appeared online and there a few reasons to think Samsung is going to take Microsoft’s software a little more seriously. Read more »
Previously appearing in Google’s Chrome Canary and Developer channels of Chrome, Google Now cards are supported in the Beta version of Chrome. Windows, Macs and Chromebooks using Chrome’s Beta channel will see Google Now notifications, offering similar contextual and timely information as Google Now on smartphones and tablets. Unlike the Developer channel, there’s no need to enable the feature with a setting change. Since the Chrome Stable channel trails the beta version by up six weeks, I’d anticipate Google Now for all Chrome users around the end of February or beginning of March.
A leaked, early build of Update 1 for Windows 8.1 appeared online over the weekend and it shows a merger between the Desktop and tiled interfaces of Microsoft’s platform. Mouse and trackpad users should be happy with these changes. Read more »
AT&T family plans got revamped making them easier to understand while costing less at the same time. You can actually get more shared data for a lower price on the new plans, which are available today. Read more »
The U.S. accounts for a disproportionately high amount of global credit card fraud. For a country with such technological innovation, we’re way behind the times and it’s costing us. This market is ripe for disruption; a scenario where Apple typically thrives. Read more »
Motorola leaving the protective wings of Google was a bombshell this week. What does it mean for Moto phones of the future? And might Lenovo now get a chance to be a Nexus phone maker? Perhaps; for now, a red Nexus 5 seems certain. Read more »
Did Lenovo make a good deal in spending $2.91 billion on Motorola Mobility? Perhaps the financials don’t look good yet but add together smartphone sales of Lenovo and Motorola and you get the new no. 3 smartphone vendor in the world. Read more »
This week’s show brings a new co-host to the team to talk about Chromebooks, the Chromecast and Chrome OS. Welcome, Janko! We answer some listener questions, talk about Chrome apps being native on other platforms and more on the podcast. Read more »
Google is making it easier to bring Chromebooks into the classroom. There are more devices for schools to choose from and Google Play will include thousands of digital textbooks. Read more »
Paid web apps gain a new home in Amazon’s Appstore. The company allowed such apps in the store since last August but now developers can set a price and sell their web wares. Read more »
Google’s Chrome strategy takes another step forward with the company launching tools based on Apache Cordova to get Chrome apps running on other platforms. The company demonstrated the tech last May but now developers can start using it. Read more »